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Parish's Wolfberry
Parish's Desert-Thorn

Lycium parishii

Parish's Wolfberry, Lycium parishii, photo © by Michael Plagens

This plant was found in full bloom at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Pima Co., Arizona, USA on 21 March 2010.

RANGE: Rocky slopes and washes in southwestern Arizona and southeastern California. Also in Sonora, Mexico and southern Nevada, USA

FLOWERS: Light to darker purple/lavender. Tubular flowers with five points and broadly flared open. Flowers and foliage are similar to L. fremontii but notice that in Parish's the lobes of the calyx (green bracts below flower) are rather long and slender whereas Fremont's are short and triangular. Flowers in spring mostly, occasionally other seasons.

SHRUB: A woody shrub occasionally up to 2 meters tall. Intricately branched and seasonally leafy.

ARMED. This shrub has thorns, but they are not particularly sharp.

LEAVES: Leaves are spatulate (spoon-shaped) and rather thick and fleshy; their surface is covered with sticky gland-hairs. The leaves often appear fascicled.

FRUIT: Bright red juicy berries with a number of seeds are edible and sweet.

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More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2010